The Surefire Way to Pass a Breathalyzer Test
A breathalyzer is used to test the blood alcohol content in your bloodstream. I’m often asked this question as a DUI defense attorney: How do you pass a breathalyzer test? The simple and most fool-proof way of passing a breathalyzer test is to not drink alcohol and drive. Is there anything that can trick a breathalyzer? Not really, and not in a way the helps you.
How Does a Breathalyzer Work?
Before finding out what you can do to pass a breathalyzer test, it’s important to note how breathalyzers actually work. A breathalyzer actually only estimates the blood alcohol content in your bloodstream. Only a blood test accurate gauges the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. That being said, breathalyzers in today’s technology are very accurate estimators.
Alcohol, when consumed, is absorbed into the bloodstream through the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines. Alcohol is not digested like food, but rather eliminated from the bloodstream through the liver. The average person eliminates approximately .015 – .2 BAC per hour. Alcohol is not chemically altered either. Alcohol in the bloodstream will then move across lung membranes into the alveoli or alveolic air sacs. It is this deep lung air that breathalyzers are intended to test. When blowing into a breathalyzer, you are instructed to inhale deeply and blow hard and for as long as possible to test that deep lung air. The amount of alcohol in deep lung air is correlative to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream.
How accurate is a breathalyzer in estimating your blood alcohol content – BAC? Fairly accurate. With no outside issues, a breathalyzer is around ten percent of the actual value. Meaning an actual BAC of .10 may read as high .11 or as low as .09. Some experts say the percentage of deviation is actually closer to twenty percent.
Can You Trick a Breathalyzer?
Chewing gum will not alter BAC. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash contaminates the breathalyzer because mouthwash contains alcohol (upwards of 25% alcohol), which will linger in your mouth air and contaminate the deep lung air, and makes your BAC reading higher. Other products such as mouth sprays like Binaca will do the same. Vomiting, burping, or regurgitating will also contaminate the sample if there is alcohol in your stomach and make your breathalyzer reading higher. For this reason, officers are trained to ensure that a subject prior to a breath test does not eat, chew gum, drink liquid, vomit, burp , or regurgitate for at least 15 minutes, depending upon the state.
However, a contaminated BAC sample from one of the above does trick the breathalyzer; it is a potential defense as a contaminated breathalyzer is an inaccurate result. An inaccurate result is essentially no result at all, as no one can determine truly and accurately the blood alcohol content.